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October 3, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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The Week That Wasn’t – Labour Election Billboards Breach Wellington City By-Laws

Labour leader Gil Phoff and Wellington representative Rant Grobertson have come under serious media scrutiny following an order by the Wellington City Council to remove a number of Labor billboards erected for the November election.

The billboards, which originally towered over Willis St, Courtenay Place and Lambton Quay, infringed a number of sections fundamental to the Public Places Advertising and Expression Act. Section 67(a) of the Act states that ‘no public advertising may contain racial, sexist, or religious slurs,’ a provision clearly contravened by a billboard boasting Grobertson’s face and the phrase, ‘What are we going to do with the Pakis? Vote Labor and help us decide.’

Wellington Pakistani Nationals Society President Asif Ali Zardari spoke out against the advertisement: ‘It was totally obscene, isn’t it? A completely abhorrent outburst from a party who we used to believe in and look to for support as immigrants. Besides, they should be more worried about the Koreans, they’re the ones stealing all our jobs.’
Other banned posters include: ‘National are losers. Kohn Jey is a pussy. Vote for a party that doesn’t all suck dick’ and ‘I’m Rant Grobertson and I have a Maori friend. Can Kohn Jey say that?’

Jey has since responded with official radio ads denouncing the offensive billboards as slander tactics, inappropriate for a democratic election in a liberal society like New Zealand. The ads also asserted that ‘Rant Grobertson is a useless prick who can’t play footy to save himself’.

These displays of political child’s play are not the first instances of squabbling between the two major parties. In 1978 during the lead-up to the general election, Sir Mubert Roldoon made a number of unsavoury television adverts. ‘Biwling’s a fancy boy and he wears ladies’ knickers. Don’t vote for a man who’d push over your mother and spit in your porridge given half the chance’ was a more memorable statement made by Roldoon in his ‘Keep The Poofters Out’ election campaign.

Roll Biwling, well known for an inability in coping with Roldoon’s aggressive style, crumbled under the pressure and released a press statement claiming that ‘You probably shouldn’t vote Labor, we are just a big stupid bunch of pansies,’ whilst weeping into his lilac-coloured hanky.

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